UMEM Educational Pearls

·       In the elderly, falling is the most common mechanism of injury
·       Unavoidable Risk factors: age 85 or older, male, Caucasian, history of falls
·       Other factors: alcohol consumption, polypharmacy
·       Mechanisms of fall:  slipping, tripping, stumbling
·       Physical exam to include: gait, balance, proprioception, vision, strength and cognitive function testing
·       Must consider neglect/abuse, affects 10% of seniors per year
·       Evaluate for anticoagulant use due to increased risk of intracranial injury
·       Use advanced imaging to identify occult hip fractures when clinically suspected and plain radiographs are negative



Abraham, MK, Cimino-Fiallos, NE.  Falls in the Elderly: Causes, Injuries, and Management. Medscape February 1, 2017.